Britain wakes up to flooding as 45 warnings across UK now active

UK Weather: Met Office forecast severe gales

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A flood warning for parts of southern Britain is now in place with heavy and persistent rain set to lash coastal counties from Kent to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight for hours to come. One forecaster pre-advised this week would be the start of the most “unsettled period since spring” as thundery, windy and wet conditions have battered nearly every part of the UK since Monday. French-named Storm Claudio was responsible for the first winds of the week, while a large part of western Britain has been hampered by gales of nearly 65mph. This morning many commuters have been caught in the cross-fire of wind and rain, with some roads even flooded as torrential rain began falling overnight.

The Met Office warning for rain covering 14 counties in the south east until 3pm today says: “Heavy rain will affect southeastern parts of England during Thursday morning, clearing eastwards early afternoon.

“Around 20-30 mm of rain is expected fairly widely, with 40mm in a few places near English Channel coasts. The ground is fairly wet, and recent fallen leaves may reduce drainage of surface water in some locations.”

There are 17 flood alerts in place across England, 15 flood warnings in Scotland and an additional 13 across Wales, bringing the total to 45. These refer to river levels which are set to be higher due to the relentless rainfall and not places.

The alerts cover places such as the River Tone, West Dorset Rivers and Streams and South East Somerset Rivers in the south west of England. Then there’s the River Uck in East Sussex, the River Stour and Smestow Brook in the Black Country and South Staffordshire, the River Trent in Derbyshire and the North Sea Coast at Bridlington. Rivers Brathay, Rothay and Winster, as well as Upper River Derwent, Stonethwaite Beck and Derwent Water in the Lake District also have alerts in place.

In Wales, there is a flood alert for the Severn Vyrnwy confluence, with flooding to affect low lying land and roads close to the river from the Welsh border at Llawnt to Shrawardine near Shrewsbury.

Many early risers have reported driving through lakes as rainwater gathers on the roads with the M2 linking Kent to south east London currently at a standstill due to flooding. 

The Met Office’s most recent warning told people to expect roads to be flooded and to expect journey times to take longer than normal. Bus and train services may be affected and flooding may even affect a few homes and businesses.

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